Policies & Regulations
Death of a University of North Florida Employee
Major Revision of Existing Policy
Minor/Technical Revision of Existing Policy
Reaffirmation of Existing Policy
Administration & Finance / Human Resources
I. OBJECTIVE & PURPOSE
The purpose of this policy is to administer a uniform policy for reporting the death of an employee.
II. STATEMENT OF POLICY
Death of University employees is a tragic reality. Although the number of employees who die each year is relatively small, it is important to have procedures in place that recognize loss and convey sensitivity and understanding to survivors including the deceased’s family, co-workers, fellow colleagues, friends, and students. The death of an employee requires that certain actions be taken by responsible University administrators to ensure that proper notifications are made and personnel-related business matters are handled expeditiously.
When an employee dies, the surviving family members or named beneficiaries may be eligible for certain benefits. The death should be reported immediately to the Office of Human Resources – Benefits so notifications can be made and paperwork started. It is also important to maintain contact with the family and offer assistance; however, the Benefits department is the designated contact area for matters of insurance and other benefits. Please be sure that all such matters are referred to them for appropriate processing through the various State agencies and benefits providers. The Benefits Coordinators will initiate a checklist to ensure that all matters are addressed in a sensitive and expeditious manner.
A. Employee’s Department’s Responsibilities:
1) When learning of an employee's death, the employee’s department head should immediately contact the Office of Human Resources Benefits Coordinators and the appropriate vice president with the following information:
The employee's name, title, and department
The nearest relative's name, address, and phone number
The date of death, cause (if an accident, there may be additional benefits due), and city where the death occurred
The employee's last day worked
2) Prepare Personnel Action Form (PAF) to remove the employee from payroll effective the date of death. The department head may wish to call the Employee Assistance Program to provide counseling in the department if the death brings up emotional difficulties for employees.
3) If the death occurred on campus or while traveling on University business, prepare First Report of Injury form after notifying the Office of Human Resources of the death. The First Report of Injury form must be sent immediately to the Office of Human Resources – Benefits. Any documentation which may have been received, such as police reports, should be included.
4) Report applicable information, including funeral arrangements, if known, to:
Office of the appropriate Vice President
Individuals outside the University who had business or professional contacts with the deceased
Dean of Students if deceased was a matriculating UNF student
5) If applicable, notify survivors of any personal items, papers, etc., in the department’s possession that were the property of the deceased and discuss how such items are to be handled. If any items of significant value are involved, discuss with the General Counsel before releasing. If applicable, pack and store items in a secure place.
6) If applicable, and if items of University Property (i.e. equipment, keys, uniforms, etc.) were in possession of the deceased, notify survivors (in writing if necessary) that these items are to be returned to the department. Return keys to Office of the Locksmith.
B. Public Relations Responsibilities:
1) Prepare announcement for Osprey Update for Faculty and Staff and Osprey Update for Students, if applicable.
2) If deceased is of possible interest to news media and if the family wishes, prepare press release for submission to news media.
C. Office of President Responsbilities:
1) Notify Chairperson of Board of Trustees if deceased is of possible interest to news media.
2) Send letter of condolence to spouse, dependent, or beneficiary.
D. Office of Human Resources Responsibilities:
1) Work with the employee’s department and the survivors to obtain an official certificate of death.
2) Notify beneficiaries of applicable retirement, life insurance, and leave benefits entitlements.
3) Notify appropriate retirements system and insurance carriers.
4) If applicable, approve payroll authorization(s) for final salary and lump sum benefits payments.
5) Coordinate issuance of payments to executor or appropriate survivor(s).
6) Process final payments owed to the estate of deceased employee according to applicable tax and legal requirements.
E. Employee Attendance at Funeral or Memorial Service
Individual college employees and students will decide on their own if they want to attend memorial services or participate in other activities for a deceased employee or retiree. The appropriate level supervisor may grant administrative leave for this time.
F. Establishing Memorial Scholarship Fund
In the event the family of the deceased wants to establish a scholarship or memorial fund, the Office of Institutional Advancement should be notified and the Vice President or designee will contact the family and discuss possible options to be considered when establishing a memorial scholarship fund.
Adopted by the University of North Florida Board of Trustees as part of the University’s Personnel Program on January 26, 2006, Revised June 2, 2008.